Discuss how Golding uses symbols to represent the major themes in Lord of the Flies.

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Zenab Kasmani 11OG

Discuss how Golding uses symbols to represent the major themes in Lord of the Flies.

Lord of the Flies begins with the crashing of a plane on an uninhabited island and we are left to assume that it was a result of events linked with World War II, as we are not given a reason. We do not know anything about the boys previous to the crash except that they are most probably evacuees.

The group of boys attempt to create a functional society by using a system of rules and a chief. The story then revolves around the breakdown of the boys’ society gradually getting worse and worse.

Although the breakdown happened gradually, there were many signs throughout the book, which indicated the later breakdown. For example when Jack says “Bollocks to the rules”

There are many symbols in Lord of the Flies like the conch, the fire and the beast. Throughout ‘Lord of the Flies’ Golding relates the life of the boys to the ‘real world’ as an allegory. The boys and their society are the microcosm, which on the large scale represent different aspects of society like dictators, the public and academia of the world.

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The conch shell is the first important discovery Piggy and Ralph make on the island, and they use it to summon the boys together after they are separated by the crash.” He flourished the conch”. As a result, the conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and order. ”I got the conch”…”…still holding out the talisman, the fragile, shining beauty of the shell.”

 It is used to govern the boys' meetings: the boy who holds the shell is given the right to speak, making the shell more than a symbol; it is an actual “vessel of political authenticity and ...

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